Friday, December 27, 2013

Spinach Cheese Burritos with Blender Hot Sauce

We love all things Mexican food in our house. Any excuse to have avocado, Mexican Coke and cilantro is good enough for me! My mom's husband, Jack, sent me this recipe a while back, and I've been hanging on to it for a while waiting to try it. This is from Moosewood Restaurant; they do vegetarian recipes that are delicious. So, I knew it would be tasty even before making it. I matched this with Moosewood's Blender Hot Sauce as well, which was the best part of the whole meal. I will use this hot sauce on many other Mexican dishes. Yum.

Spinach Cheese Burritos
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 bunch scallions, white and light-green parts, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
10 cups (10 ounces) loosely packed fresh baby spinach, stemmed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Nutmeg (optional)
3 cups (10 ounces) lightly packed Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup cream cheese
8 to 10 7- or 8-inch flour tortillas
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick oil spray.

2. For the burritos: In a large skillet on medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the scallions, garlic and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the coriander, nutmeg, if desired, grated cheese and cream cheese. Remove from the heat.

3. To keep the tortillas from cracking, place them on a baking sheet (overlapping is fine) and heat them in the oven for a minute or two.

4. Place 1/3 to 1/2 cup of filling on the lower half of a warm tortilla, fold the bottom up and the sides in to encase the filling, roll it up and place it seam-side down in the baking dish. When all the tortillas are ready, brush the tops with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until hot, 20 to 25 minutes.

5. Serve the burritos with the blender hot sauce on top.

Blender Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can (15 ounces) whole tomatoes, with juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. In a heavy saucepan or skillet over high heat, heat the oil until it is almost smoking. Add the onion, bell pepper and salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the bell pepper is blistered and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, stirring to combine, and remove from the heat.

2. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the tomatoes and puree.

3. Return the sauce to the pan and add the cilantro, if desired, and salt to taste. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, partially covering the pan to avoid splatters.

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